OK so this week I officially gave up. The STOP sign was hauled out followed by the end of the road sign. I accepted that I’m not going to meet anyone. It won’t happen by accident and it certainly hasn’t happened by design (when I go to a bar). I sadly accepted that just like Bridget Jones, they’ll find me one day a dead spinster having been half-eaten by my dogs… except knowing my dogs even they world turn their noses up and say “Is that it? Where’s my K9 Natural?”. I was sad. I was beaten. I was depressed.
All this because I stupidly opened the communication lines and contacted an old ‘friend’ only to have them coldly slam the door back in my face. Arctic chill indeed. Serves me right for being a) weak and b) a stupid daydreamer. But either way it made me realise that if I’m investigating old roads traveled that I really am scraping the bottom of the barrel, going backwards not forwards. So what did I do? I opened a bottle of wine of course and I wallowed and moaned to my long-suffering friend (it’s OK really she has special Miss-Kitty-Proof ear plugs for the really long whinge sessions).
Then today the same wonderful friend stumbled on a revelation I had buried quite by accident. You see there is a new man in town, well not really new, he’s local, but by town I mean my orb of travel. I’ve met him twice and much as I felt the buzz the first time, I instantly filed it under my ‘Don’t Even Bother’ category. Firstly because he’s a goodie and so I always assume they have a girlfriend/wife/mistress (which pretty much rules out everyone over the age of 34 off the bat anyway) and secondly, well, because he has a beard or beardedness. Yes I admit I am an anti-beardist, and I hate mustaches and goatees too, and overall I’m not sure how I feel about it, it’s a bit hobo, a bit hippy for me.
But my friend and another close friend of ours met him by chance today and both independently reported back that this new man was a bit of a catch! Hello says I, pulling him out of my mental filing cabinet, get in the queue. First dibs ladies! You see the reason I hadn’t mentioned him before wasn’t just because of the beard, which I aIso couldn’t get my head round, bit because he was so well…uh…nice? Is this an illusion? Surely it is. So I kind of toyed with the idea and then ping! banished him to my archive, no point in barking up the wrong tree. But now that the girls have flagged him and can see through the fuzz to the hot man underneath as well, it’s got me thinking! Maybe I’m wrong to be follically prejudiced? As an added Brucey-Bonus I’ve since heard that he may well indeed be single…. or again it’s just fate playing with my tortured heart, if not then the crux of the issue really does boil down to “can I fancy a guy with facial hair?” or as my dear friend suggests do you simply buy him a nice razor set for Christmas? Well put it this way, he’s a babe either in or out of the woods!
If there is one thing that really bloody annoys me about being single it’s that a) everyone has an opinion on my status and b) everyone has a fricking crystal ball.
If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a thousand times, always delivered with a knowing nod and a smile “When you stop looking for love it’ll find you” or the other version “When you least expect it, it will turn up.” Having a smug married or coupled person spout this out to you just makes it all the more painful. Really? Why, thanks very much for clearing that one up for me. I can relax now right? That’s been a big help, I was obviously in the dark before you dished out your sage words. So let me get this straight if I just stop looking, hoping, wanting, wishing, and waiting then bam! just like that a stranger will arrive from somewhere. Well if only you had told me this 18 months ago I would have changed tack and not bothered with the speed dating, online dating, bar hopping and joining groups and clubs malarkey? I would have just stayed at home and watched TV, which incidentally is what I’m doing right now. Same result though. Note to self: must try harder to stop looking when walking down the street, driving, shopping, exercising anything really. Must look at pavement at all times and be totally disinterested in all males.
Honestly, I’m seconds away from slapping every person who says this to me (and there are a lot) because I find it extremely patronizing and bloody, bloody annoying. Why? Because actually my life isn’t a cutesy, throwaway Hallmark saying, and I do try to be busy and engaged. They don’t ever stop to think that I might actually be very sad about my state of affairs and the fact that I can’t change it? That I might be more upset than I ever care to let on? That I might cry sometimes because I’m so lonely? So I don’t need some clever dick telling me to get on with it ‘cos there’s a magic ticket just waiting round the next corner (they should give up the day job and become fortune tellers). They probably don’t even remember or have never experienced being properly alone.
And then there’s the “Ohh, you shouldn’t still be single”, “But why? You’re a catch” or “You should have been snapped up by now”. Again thanks. Obviously I’ve been missing something important again. It’s meant as a compliment but it comes over like a personal assault. Are you saying that I’m really unlucky in love? Or that I’m not trying hard enough? Or perhaps there’s a flat battery in that crystal ball of yours if I’m still here hanging around? Maybe you got it wrong the first time (shudder to think) and simply ‘not looking’ isn’t the answer after all? Maybe love doesn’t find everyone. Maybe love lost the map to my heart?
So I was watching TV the other night and I figured something out, and this may seem pretty basic, but it really is all in the kiss. It was an episode of New Girl and the guy in it who’s a bit wishy-washy and backwards about coming forwards kisses the lead girl and suddenly both she and I saw him in a whole new light. It was a kiss epiphany, a big screen version, all force and passion, perfectly executed and delivered with longing and something bordering on obsession. No sloppiness, no fumbling, no hesitation. I just sat there and went wow that’s it! Any guy who can kiss a girl like that has the world in his pocket. Because don’t we all want to be swept off our feet at least once by that stop-the-traffic kiss?
Well I’ve been lucky and unlucky enough to experience both. In fact back in school we had a shorthand for the kind of shocking, messy, clumsy encounters we had to put up with from the opposite sex. First there was The Washing Machine, a boy who put his tongue in your mouth and goes round and round and round, not exactly fun and a bit too mechanical to be remotely sexy. Then there was The Wet Fish, who as you can probably guess, would flop his tongue into your mouth like a weak handshake and just leave it lying there like a slug, yuck, what are you supposed to do with that? And not forgetting The Sink Plunger who liked you so much he really, really wanted to know what you had for lunch, steady on a girl needs some air! OK so perhaps we were a bit harsh on the boys back then but sometimes they deserved it. It seems there is an art to kissing and some clever men have learned the secret.
Since my awkward teenage adventures I’ve had lots of lovely kissers who’ve been sensitive, passionate and tender, but still nothing quite compares to experiencing that wham-bam moment when you’re felled by The Big Kiss. So let me blow off the cobwebs on my two personal memories and recap how it goes…. it/he should steal up on you when you least expect it with speed and firmness, the kiss should be passionate, confident, led by him and leave you breathless. If the guy delivering the kiss couples his big move with fingers through your hair and some face cupping/holding, well then he’s pretty much sealed the deal. Finally the all-consuming moment should finish on a smoochy note as he disengages with a softness which leaves you dizzy and disheveled. Now that is a kiss. See even a frog can turn into a prince with a gift like that …
So I’m back from my holidays and Javier Bardem didn’t show. Sigh. Neither did Mr.Right, Mr.OK for now, Mr.Holiday Romance or Mr.Just A Quickie. Double sigh. Although I did meet another 27 year old… what is it with that age? He was very cute and nice but we know what happens with those, so no, I didn’t go there (see Horny Young Things post). Although on the plus side I did have a crazy night on the tiles with a bearded Spanish ballroom dancer who spun me round like a spinning top!
Oh well you can’t have everything…. eh? I would love to have come back with a happy ever after. I wanted a holiday that would help me get over a major heartbreak and maybe if I was really, really lucky, help me find new love. Call me naive, but I call it romantic optimism. Well whatever it is, I didn’t fall in love that’s for sure (and I was on the lookout, eyes wide open) instead I got a fantastic trip, met some great people, ate lots of amazingly delicious food, saw some wonderful sights and did what I really do best…shopping! But something did happen to help heal my battered heart, although I was in good company all the time (mostly couples) I pretty much spent three weeks on my own and whats more I found that I liked it. I suppose I decided that I actually like me, just as I am. Solo. And the fact that I went on my own made me realise that I’m far braver that I think I am. You go girlfriend!
So when I got back I closed down my online dating profile. And that’s the way it’s going to be for awhile. I didn’t find love but I found me and believe me she’s been lost for a while. I realised that rushing around looking for love everywhere, doesn’t will it into being or make it come any faster and making room in your life for someone who doesn’t yet exist isn’t helpful either. So now I’m going to fill up all the little gaps in my time with other stuff and stop waiting. Because I’m tired of the game and waiting and looking is so painful. Instead I’ll spend some time on me, because now I know that being on my own isn’t that bad..
Not that I won’t be posting, because I have plenty more gems to share, but for now I am taking a rest from the rollercoaster of online dating at least. For once I actually feel at peace with that term ‘single’ and with the fact that I can just be. And yes I do still talk to myself out loud, but as my Grandad used to say I’m only talking to the most intelligent person in the room.